EU election observation policy: A supranationalist transatlantic bridge?

The European Union’s international partners often accuse it of not speaking with a single voice on key global issues. Yet, there are instances when Europe does display a coherent approach to policy-making in international affairs. In this paper for the Center on the United States and Europe, Matteo Garavoglia argues that EU Election Observation Missions (EU EOMs) are a worthy example of such occurrences.

Unlike in most other foreign policy domains, EU supranational institutions, rather than national capitals, lead EOMs’ policymaking. More specifically, the European External Action Service’s Democracy and Electoral Observation Division, the European Commission’s Foreign Policy Instrument, and the European Parliament’s Directorate for Democracy Support are the key actors behind this policy area.

Writing for Brookings’s U.S.-Europe Analysis Series, Matteo Garavoglia investigates why European supranational actors are at the core of EOMs policymaking. Having done so, he analyzes the role that national governments and non-institutional agents play in conceptualizing and operationalizing EOMs. Finally, he explores ways in which Europe’s international partners could build bridges with Brussels in this policy area.